I grew up with some great music at a time when you could pick up an LP and listen to it from start to finish and say "wow, this is great music!". Unfortunetly we now live in an era where music companies produce products instead of artists. The lack of real good music is one of the reason iTunes has been successful in my opinion..why spend $11.99 on a CD when you can purchase the one good song for $.99?
As the good artists faded from the mainstream I started to get deeper and deeper into jazz with some great recordings from Benny Golson, John Coltrane, Sony Stitt and Sonny Rollins. As my journey took me deeper into the libraries of these artists I found that a lot of recordings from the 50's and 60's sound better today than recordings made today. Thus I felt my hi-fi system was in serious need of upgrading. I had a Pioneer Elite integrated amp and Thiel .5 speakers but the system just could not do the recoredings justice. Then while reading my monthly Stereophile I came across an ad for the Arcam Solo and imm went to my local hi-fi dealer and was sold ont his wonder. It was an immediate improvement over the Pioneer Elite and when I added the Paradigm Studio 100's, after researching speakers on the Stereophile website, I have a new appreciation for the music and musicians of the time. Now I can tell the good recordings from the bad ones and I can hear things that I never heard before. The difference is day and night.
I have been showing my system to friends and now their interests are getting keener. I think there are a lot of people who feel you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a great hi-fi when in reality that just isn't so. Yes you can spend that money but you can also spend what your budget will allow and still get a great system.
Now I can't wait for my monthly Stereophile issue to arrive in the mail. I usually read the magazine from cover to cover and check out the recommendations in each issue via the Web. I think there are a lot of people out there who are getting ready to take the plunge into the hi-fo world but be warned..once your in we got ya and you'll never go back !!